The European Commission issued new recommendations on Wednesday outlining steps that European Union member states can take in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The recommendations come as new confirmed cases are falling across the region, according to The Associated Press. The commission warned against easing restrictions this month, as it could negatively impact the efforts that have helped control the spread.
The commission recommended that member states introduce or maintain nighttime curfews. It also recommended banning mass gatherings, and defining criteria for specific events.
The commission also recommended avoiding large church services, and opting for online, TV and radio broadcasts instead. In addition, it advised member states to consider extending school holidays or introducing a period of online learning.
However, the executive arm of the EU did not recommend banning cross-border travel, saying that it “does not present a significant added risk.” It did, however, recognize that travel itself is a risk factor.
In addition, the commission advised increasing public transport options and capacities to reduce crowding, particularly on busier days. It noted that “the use of masks should be compulsory,” and that vehicles should be well ventilated.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said in a statement that “the situation may be stabilizing, but it remains delicate.”
“We cannot jeopardize the efforts made by us all in the recent weeks and months,” she said.
EU health ministers discussed the strategy on Wednesday as some countries famous for skiing resorts struggled to come up with a unified approach to the virus, AP notes. Ski resorts were the sites of several events that led to outbreaks across the region.
Coronavirus restrictions have closed ski resorts in Italy, France and Germany, the news outlet notes. However, other nations expressed concerns about the decision and its economic impact.